NPR FOR THE DEF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t


The fourth season of the AMC drama Mad Men ended in a dramatically big way. Protagonist Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, seemed happy. So happy, in fact, that he surprised his secretary, Megan, with an engagement ring on a Disneyland vacation with his children. The last shot of the episode showed Megan happily asleep in bed with Don, as he remained awake, staring up at the ceiling, before turning his head and staring out the window. What did it mean? On Monday’s Fresh Air, series creator Matthew Weiner details his storytelling process. He also talks in depth about the plot and character choices he made last season and in the first episode of Season 5. “The first episode of each season, in a way, really starts to become the finale of the season before,” he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “And when you get to the end of the season, you will see it all laid out. But it is not clear to you what is going on. What is clear is that there is a new dynamic, people are in different places. … You’ll see that the language is becoming more modern, that people are breaking a lot of the mores, whether they like it or not. And they’re changing, so when you go into that dynamic, what you’ll see is the setup to a bunch of problems.” Weiner reveals that one of the problems this season will revolve around Don’s relationship with Megan, played by Jessica Pare. “What’s wrong with it? All I can say is, ‘You know already. You’ve been told. But it’s not what you think,’ ” he says. MORE

NEW YORK MAGAZINE: At the end of Mad Men season four, we wondered if Don Draper was following in Roger Sterling’s midlife-crisis-propelled footsteps when he dumped his girlfriend and peer, Dr. Faye, and instead impulsively proposed to his young, foxy secretary, Megan (Jessica Paré). But last night’s episode provided some clarity when Megan gave Don a 40th-birthday present to remember: a sexy burlesque performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou” that party guests — and viewers — may have appreciated more than the intended recipient. Yet despite the awkward moment, the mysterious, brooding adman seems happier with her than he’s ever been. And Megan is, so far, proving to be nothing like Betty: She’s privy to Don’s secrets, pervy enough to keep him interested, maternal to his children, a bright and willing protégée of Peggy’s, and a keeper of her own bank account with gay and black friends and a penchant for pot-smoking. Could Megan actually be good for him? Vulture talks with Paré. MORE

Megan’s 1966 performance was based on “Zou Bisou Bisou,” a 1961 recording by yé-yé girl Gillian Hill.

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